UK labour market Dec 2020 - Release 5

labour market

The aim of this report is to extract sector relevant analysis from the ONS UK Labour Market data release. Release 5 uses the December report which was released on the 15th December 2020.

Summary of findings

Unemployment and redundancy rates data use, ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Vehicles and Motorcycles’ as the nearest proxy to represent the automotive sector. However, the data used for this section does include other retail and wholesale sectors which may not be automotive; this is likely to have effected some of the findings.

Redundancy levels in the sector continue to rise significantly, for example, the period from August to October 2020 was at 68,000; the highest since 2009. Redundancy levels are currently almost 4 times higher compared to the same period last year and have increased by 18% in the past month, an increase 10,000. Unemployment levels in the sector have increased by 13% in the past month and by 29% compared to the same time last year. For the first time since 2007, the levels of women unemployed in the sector are higher than men.

The number of automotive jobs has been falling since December 2019 and fell by 4% in the last quarter.

The Office for Budget Responsibility highlighted that the UK labour market has adjusted to the collapse in economic output differently from past recessions, mainly with a reduction in average hours worked, instead of a more equal split between a fall in employment and average hours worked. Since the record low in April to June 2020, average hours worked have been increasing month on month. The sector has accelerated at a faster rate than the ‘All Industry’ rate with an average increase of 44% compared to all industry 22%. However the average hours worked remain at their lowest since records began.

For September to November 2020, there were an estimated 7,000 vacancies in the Motor Trade sub sector; this is an increase of 17% since last month and more than 3 times more than the record low levels in April – June 2020. The motor trade vacancies ratio is 1.3 which is 0.5 or 38% lower that the all vacancy rate indicating that the sector is recruiting at a lower rate than other industries.

Release 5